Sow beauty and free energy, not pollution and destruction

Replacing Big Energy with community solar. Podcast about the community rebellion.

Our guest in the sustainable studio on 25 April 2018 is Geelong Sustainability’s project manager Dan Cowdell, who has great news about ‘CORE Geelong One’ – a newly launched solar investor program which raised $150,000 in a week – and the ‘Geelong Community Solar Program’, which aims to install solar panels on 200 rooftops or more in one go.

Home energy expert Alex Georgiou joins us over the phone. He is co-founder and director of ShineHub, a New South Wales based solar enterprise aspiring to enable a mass adaption of a new renewable energy paradigm – and now a partner in the Geelong program.

We also play an excerpt from a presentation by Jeffrey D. Sachs, a world-renowned professor of economics and senior UN advisor, who spoke at the #WeDontHaveTime climate conference on Earth Day 22 April 2018.

We have a flashback to August 2015, where the Anglican reverent Peter Martin made us hold a minute of silence in the program for the first time, and then read a prayer, which is part of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’

And we play two songs: Luke O’Shea’s ‘Sing You Up’ and Baba Brinkman’s ‘Laudato Si’.

“… Sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.”
~ Pope Francis, ‘A prayer for our earth’, page 178 in his encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si – Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home’



Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 213 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist (1905-1997), author of ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’




 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

Links, excerpts and more information about what we talked about in this Sustainable Hour


Solar installer. Photo courtesy of Shinehub

Dan Cowdell and Alex Georgiou: Live radio interview


11-minute excerpt of the interview in The Sustainable Hour



“Geelong residents will be among the first in the country to hear how they can save on their power bills by installing a solar panel system without any upfront cost. Fresh from releasing its new ‘Free System Solar’ initiative, ShineHub is coming to the Geelong region to pitch the opportunity through a series of free community forums. Under the ShineHub offer, homeowners can receive a free solar panel and battery system and in return they are required to pay for the electricity produced by the system at a low fixed price.”
» Geelong Advertiser – 30 April 2018:
Geelong residents among first in the country to hear how they can save on power bills with solar


Geelong Community Solar Program

Newsletter from Geelong Sustainability:

Save up to 90% on your energy bills with solar + battery technology

Free event! Expert advice on solar – exclusively for Geelong

Geelong Sustainability is excited to announce that ShineHub will be coming to Geelong in May to offer Geelong Sustainability supporters an exclusive deal to cut your electricity bills by up to 90% with solar and battery technology.

There will be 13 free local events in Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast, Colac, Bannockburn and Smythesdale.  All you have to do to qualify is attend one of ShineHub’s upcoming events in your local area.  Here’s a preview of what they will be offering:

ShineHub’s ultimate goal is to replace big energy with community solar. They began with one simple question: “If we were able to start the whole solar industry from scratch, what would that look like?” 

This is the model they came up with:

Late last year, ShineHub spent just one month in Adelaide and they managed to help over 175 homes make the switch to solar, using their innovative approach. These homes can look forward to a cleaner, cheaper future – slashing their power bills by up to 90%!

» Click here to find your local event

Want to find out more about community solar and the ShineHub model? 
Check out these two of their recent media stories:

‘TODAY’ on 9NOW – 18 APRIL 2018
Meet Craig Mercer, one of ShineHub’s customers who was able to turn his big energy bills into a credit, using solar and battery technology. Also, find out more about ShineHub’s ‘Free System Solar Plan’. 

» Watch here


NEWS.COM.AU – 18 APRIL 2018
News.com.au provides a detailed analysis of ShineHub’s new ‘Free System Solar Plan’ including all the facts and figures specific to Victoria. 

» Read here



» Read more and sign up for a meeting:
www.shinehub.com.au/geelong




Solar investor program launched in Geelong

At first, when Geelong Sustainability launched ‘CORE Geelong One’, about 30 people attended the event, where Dan Cowdell gave a presentation about the idea of finding 20 investors to finance the installation of over 500 solar panels generating 156kW on the roof of an aged care facility Multicultural Aged Care Services in North Geelong.

Only one week later, over $150,000 had been raised from individuals in the community wanting to invest in local community owned renewable energy.

“Geelong Sustainability is fully focused on the people power possible through community renewables – proud to be leading our region in the energy democracy movement by enabling community solar to replace big energy,” said Dan Dowdell. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response since launching CORE Geelong One just seven days ago.”

CORE Geelong One is now fully subscribed. But you can register your interest to invest in Geelong Sustainability’s next community solar projects, and learn about the application process here:
www.geelongsustainability.org.au/invest-in-community-solar

» CORE news blog

» CORE group page: 
www.geelongsustainability.org.au/core

Article in Armstrong Creek Times

» Solarquotes Blog – 27 April 2018:
Geelong Community Solar Energy Project Powering Ahead


https://twitter.com/climatecouncil/status/989398820466380800





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Carbon rebellion leads to community rebuilding



ABC Landline ran a great episode on community energy projects, which is well worth a look. Australians can watch it on ABC iView on tv.

» ABC Landline – 7 April 2018:
‘People Power – Communities funding their own wind and solar projects’

“There are now 1.8 million households and businesses boasting solar rooftops in Australia, and that number is growing every week. Makes sense considering we live on the sunniest continent on earth! The rooftop revolution isn’t slowing down.”
~ Solar Citizens


» RenewEconomy – 24 April 2018:
Angry and frustrated, more customers are quitting the grid
“Recent data shows that the number of off-grid installations is increasing rapidly: a combination of new homes that don’t bother connecting to the grid, and an increasing number of on-grid homes that have had enough.”




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Movement of ordinary citizens

“The political and economic elites are clearly not taking climate change and the threat against our ecosystems seriously enough, or we wouldn’t be where we are today. We can’t trust that political leaders, government officials and financial stakeholders will do enough by themselves – the challenge is too great, the issue too important, the catastrophe too imminent. We believe that real change only will come if a movement of ordinary citizens from all over the world demands change. We must push them, ourselves, and our peers, to do much more, and faster. If a large enough number of ordinary citizens come together to share information, policy proposals, solutions and demands for action, change will happen. You can be the change.”
~ From the introduction to the online climate conference ‘We Don’t Have Time’, www.wedonthavetime.org


Jeffrey D. Sachs’ Earth Day presentation

If you would like to know where things are at in this world, have a listen to what the American economist had to say in his presentation at the global Internet conference ‘We Don’t Have Time’ on 22 April which had the title ‘Towards a sustainable, global economy’

Introduction starts at 03:00. The presentation ends at 15:57.


Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries.

A recent survey by The Economist ranked professor Jeffrey D. Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.

Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He has twice been named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time magazine “the world’s best known economist.”

» Jeffrey Sachs’ Twitter account

» www.wedonthavetime.confetti.events

» www.facebook.com/wedonthavetime.org


“For decades the fossil fuel industry has prioritised making money over the future of our planet. Whether it’s been big oil in the US, or big coal in Australia, fossil fuel companies have deep pockets and unprecedented political influence.”
~ Bill McKibben, American author, co-founder of 350.org

» Sydney Morning Herald – 25 April 2018:
Pay up fossil fuel industry – your free ride to pollute is over



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Petition:

“Stop these climate criminals”

The more detail that emerges about the NEG, the worse it gets. Send a message to Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten, that the wrecking of our climate and the destruction of our way of life is not an option for Australia’s future.

By Adam Bandt, The Greens

At a time when the world is burning, the climate deniers in the Turnbull-Abbott Government are wrecking our climate and locking us into a future dependent on coal. Increasingly, Labor looks like it might cave and support the ‘National Energy Guarantee’, a policy that will strangle investment in renewables.

Send a message to Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten, that the wrecking of our climate and the destruction of our way of life is not an option for Australia’s future.

» Sign the petition: www.adambandt.com/climate_criminals



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Call for ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria

We now have an opportunity to influence the state’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and 2030. Friends of the Earth Melbourne have created a page where you can compose your email and send your submission now:

» Friends of the Earth’s submission service:
www.melbournefoe.org.au/have_your_say

The public submissions close on Tuesday 1 May 2018 at 5pm. 

Last year the Victorian government set the state on a path to zero climate pollution with the introduction of the Climate Change Act. While the act set a target of zero emissions by 2050, it didn’t say how quickly Victoria would cut climate pollution. Now the government is setting targets for the years 2025 and 2030 and is seeking public feedback. 

To prevent the worst impacts of climate change like bushfires, heatwaves and drought, we need to act quickly. This means setting emissions targets that are in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C degrees or less by 2100, and will see Victoria achieve its clean energy future in a way that is fast and fair. 

The government is seeking advice on what these targets should be through this public survey.  
You can make a powerful contribution to protecting our climate by telling them we urgently need to cut climate pollution.

» The Victorian State Government submission page:
www.engage.vic.gov.au/climate-change-targets-2021-2030

» Read more:
Have your say on the Victorian government’s climate pollution targets



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The NT frack attack

“These bloody governments are so hooked on fracking it’s shameful, what are we really getting out of this, much dearer gas that’s what, and poisonous water tables and water ways all this to supply someone other than Aust with gas. Shame on NT government”
~ Alida Mcshane



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Earth Day:

Catholics to replace fossil fuels without delay

On Sunday 22 April, Catholics around the world came together to celebrate Earth Day. There were over 600 events in 50 countries. Pope Francis tweeted on the day, “Let us follow the example of St Francis of Assisi and take care of our common Home.”

In his encyclical letter about climate change, Pope Francis stated three years ago that,

“Technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels (…) needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”
~ Pope Francis, ‘Laudato Si’, page 165

Consequently, a coalition of 35 Catholic institutions around the world has now announced that it answers their Pope’s call by divesting from fossil fuels.

There is an incredible group of institutions in this announcement, including Caritas Internationalis, Catholic banks with balance sheets of 12 billion AUS dollars (€7.5 billion), archdioceses, and more.  

There is a deep shame hanging over the numerous catholic politicians in the Australian federal government who, guided by greed, ignore and even ridicule this moral call from their own church.



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What is stopping Geelong Council from divesting?

A divestment motion that the previous Geelong Council agreed upon – about moving Geelong Council’s money out of banks that invest in fossil fuels – has since been archived, ignored and forgotten.

In other words, Geelong Council seems to quietly continue its dirty practice of letting this city’s ratepayers help finance an industry that is heading for collapse, thereby putting residents’ rate payments at risk.

Not everyone can see, yet, that it won’t be long before the fossil fuel industry collapses in exactly the same lousy style as we saw happening to the CD-industry when the digital mp3-music world took over. The combination of ignorance and arrogance can be very expensive.

Since this is our own money, Council is dealing with, we clearly have a right to demand that they are not invested in pollution and destruction. Maybe we need to tell them this in a loud and clear way that will be heard?

What do you think?

(Comment field is open below – closes after two weeks)



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Be the change of consciousness

Rewriting ‘The Australian Dream’ with a change of consciousness. Flashback to The Sustainable Hour in August 2015:

Exploring whether that journey to a more sustainable world which many of us would like to see our governments set out on, really must begin somewhere else: somewhere inside ourselves. Like Viktor Frankl said: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

A century ago, the Indian community leader and rebel Gandhi said that real change in society starts the moment each of us make the decision to actually be the change.

In August 2015, the Anglican reverent Peter Martin lead us onto a similar pathway in The Sustainable Hour.

Peter Martin, vicar of the co-operating Anglican parishes of St George the Martyr, Queenscliff and St James, Point Lonsdale in the Diocese of Melbourne, shared with us his vision about entirely rewriting ‘The Australian Dream’ – changing our consciousness, values and what we aim for.

A journey from living our lives predominantly in ‘the head’ to living in and from ‘the heart’ – without leaving the mind behind.

Be the change of consciousness


“Hearing with the ears is inferior to listening with the heart.”
~ Wu Hsin





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 ADDITIONALLY: 

In other news

From our notes of this week: news stories and events we didn’t have time to mention but which we think you should know about


“Prompting communities to take the legal action step”

“After three decades of global inaction, none more so than in Australia, human-induced climate change is now an existential risk to humanity. That is, a risk posing large negative consequences which will be irreversible, resulting inter alia in major reductions in global and national population, species extinction, disruption of economies and social chaos, unless carbon emissions are reduced on an emergency basis. The risk is immediate in that it is being locked in today by our insistence on expanding the use of fossil fuels when the carbon budget to stay below sensible temperature increase limits is already exhausted.” (…)

“A Federal Parliament with any degree of responsibility, would recognise that climate change poses an unprecedented threat to Australia’s future prosperity, requiring emergency action. (…) In the public interest, parliamentarians would set aside party political differences, adopting a bipartisan approach to structuring such action, with the bureaucracy in full support.

That is highly unlikely, so there remains legal action. Around the world the seriousness of the climate threat, and the inaction of governments, is prompting communities to take this step, with increasing success. The same will happen in Australia, absent an outburst of common sense within the political class.”
~ Ian Dunlop, formerly an international oil, gas and coal industry executive, chair of the Australian Coal Association and CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Member of the Club of Rome.

» John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations – 23 April 2018:
Climate Change: The fiduciary responsibility of politicians & bureaucrats. Part 1.

» John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations – 24 April 2018:
Climate Change: The fiduciary responsibility of politicians & bureaucrats. Part 2 of 2.



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“Imagine us, the people, producing and storing energy…”

“We need a global revolution where millions of people say, don’t play with our lives, change direction!“

“We want a world without fossil fuels and nuclear power!”

Trailer for the German feature-length documentary ‘Power to Change – The Energy Rebellion’ from 2016.

» More info on the film’s home page:
www.powertochange-film.com


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» Bloomberg – 27 April 2018:
Even Europe’s coal addict wants to get clean
“At the birthplace of Poland’s uprising against communism, work is under way on another revolution.”



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“What if the smartest decision was to invest in the planet?” – advertisement for Acciona

Acciona is a Spain-based renewable energy and infrastructure group. The business corporation has over 37,000 employees working in 65 countries with development and management of infrastructure, renewable energy, water and services.

The first stage of its advertisement campaign seeks to pose the question: “What if the smartest decision was to invest in the planet?” It started on 22 April, the International Earth Day, and will be broadcast until 6 May 2018.

The second campaign stage sends two messages: “Experts in designing a better planet” and “There is another way of doing things”. Launched on 7 May, it will run for more than four weeks and end on World Environment Day on 5 June.

Acciona Energy is the biggest global energy company operating exclusively in the renewable energy sector, present in over 20 countries on five continents. It works significant with five technologies: wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, hydroelectricity and biomass.

• Acciona has designed and built the first electrically powered car based entirely on renewable sources, prepared for an extreme adventure such as the Dakar, the world’s toughest motor race.

• Acciona has created a “zero emissions sailboat” powered by 100% renewable energy, able to compete in the Vendée Globe 2012, the toughest race on the planet.

• One hundred years after the arrival of Amundsen and Scott at the South Pole, Acciona has launched an expedition on board a 100% eco-efficient sled.

» www.acciona.com


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Liam Hemsworth invites you to think about ways to invest in the planet – Advertisement for Acciona

The Australian actor Liam Hemsworth starts a conversation about climate change and how everyone can invest in the planet’s future. What if the smartest decision was to invest in the planet?

» www.invest-intheplanet.com

#InvestInThePlanet



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Geelong calendar

Sunday 29 April: Market at Warralily Estate with Bike Safety and Awareness theme
Markets at the Warralily Estate, between Geelong and Torquay, usually carry a theme. On April 29, it will carry a theme of Bike Safety & Awareness. The event will combine the handmade crafts, wares and produce of a traditional market, along with specific displays, entertainment and competitions based around bicycles, bike safety, and the role bikes can play within the family environment.

Monday 30 April at 8.00pm: Screening of ‘BLUE’
Hosted by Miranda Laird at the Pivotonian. BLUE is a provocative journey into the ocean realm, witnessing this critical moment in time when the marine world is on a precipice.

8 May 2018: Clever Living seminar: How to Achieve Energy Freedom
Presented by Richard Keech, author of The Energy Freedom Home. Learn how to have a comfortable home that costs nothing to run and achieves a zero carbon footprint. By combining simple energy efficiency measures with quality electrical appliances and a rooftop solar system, your home can produce more power than it uses.
www.geelongsustainability.org.au/cleverliving/

Friday 4 and Saturday 5 May: Mountain to Mouth 2018
M~M 2018 is an 80 kilometre contemporary extreme arts walk that begins in the You Yangs and concludes at the mouth of the Barwon River. GS is fielding a team for a stage on Saturday afternoon.

17 June: David Holmgren
Event with David Holmgren and his new book ‘Retrosuburbia’ at the Geelong Library


» For more information go to www.geelongsustainability.org.au/events





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https://twitter.com/climatecouncil/status/989379348405850112




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Acknowledgement

We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the environment and with the climate for hundreds of generations. It is not clear – yet – that as European settlers we have demonstrated that we can live in harmony for hundreds of generations, but it is clear that we can learn from the indigenous, traditional owners of this land.

When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that…



The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore climate change are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How utterly disgusting, disrespectful and unfair is that?




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Podcast archive

Over 200 hours of sustainable podcasts

Listen to all of The Sustainable Hour radio shows in full length:

» Archive on climatesafety.info – with additional links

» Archive on itunes.apple.com – iPhone friendly

» Archive on cpod.org




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Help us promote sustainable living

1. Print this A3-poster and put it on a wall or a board at your work place, a local café, shop or where ever you think there’ll be people who’ll find this information interesting.

2. Go to our Facebook-page and give us a click on the LIKE-button.

3. Let the The Sustainable Hour’s listeners know about your green product. To become a business supporter or sponsor, contact: Simon Finch, Marketing & Business Development, 947thepulse.comGeelong’s Premier Community Radio Station.

4. Maybe support us financially? Even a small donation will make a difference – in particular with printing expenses.

 

 


 

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The Sustainable Hour on social media

» Facebook:
www.facebook.com/TheSustainableHour
Overview of all podcast front covers

» Twitter:
www.twitter.com/SustainableHour   Twitter tag: @SustainableHour

» YouTube channel:
www.youtube.com/channel/UCJxwIjEEoYEDEtHwtTmnf6Q


 

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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
~ Pete Seeger, American singer